KOTA KINABALU: AirBnB operators are not permitted to offer their services at residential lots.
Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Pang Yuk Ming said that laws have to be put in place to ensure that people do not take advantage of tourists coming to Sabah.
He reminded that the regulations for residential lots are different than those of hotels and resorts.
"For example, residential lots do not have fire safety regulations that are required by licensed accommodation providers such as hotels and resorts" he said.
At the same time, the move to bar AirBnB from being offered at residential lots is also to protect the rights of hotel investors, he said.
Pang also said that the number of tourist arrivals to Sabah is on the rise.
According to him, the arrival of tourists from China has risen by 16 percent (296,441) between January and August this year compared to the same period last year. Positive growth was also seen in the arrival of tourists from Korea, which rose by 53 percent (196,895) from January to August this year compared to the same period last year, as well as from Taiwan, which saw an increase of 16 percent for the same corresponding period, he said.
Furthermore, Pang disclosed that overall tourist arrivals from overseas were 810,660, which was a hike of about seven percent from the same January-August period last year, while the percentage of domestic arrivals to Sabah has also increased by 12.5 percent for that period.
The assistant minister also revealed that Sabah will be receiving flights from Chengdu and Changsha, both of which are situated in China, by the month of November and December this year, respectively.
Altogether, Sabah will be receiving 171 international flights, 80 of which originate from China, he noted.
Meanwhile, Pang added that they have decided to slow down on their tourism marketing efforts due to a shortage of rooms at four and five-star hotels and resorts.